I Am Sitting... II 4

New sonification strategies -video!

Today I sorted a new method for sonification of OpenBCI EEG data. This process has gone through many forms, but it needed to be cleaned up and clarified. This iteration uses the average amplitudes of each brainwave type to set the parameters of a hybrid AM/additive synth. The synth sounds the max frequencies for the 5 wave types, modulated by the amplitudes for each, and then adds them all together – for each of 8 data channels.

This results in a much more natural sounding representation of the data – the wave types are in fact octaves of one another! This new patcher also makes it incredibly simple to spatialize the data set over 8 speakers to model the 8 electrodes in the EEG instrument. Arrange these speakers around you in the same configuration, and you will hear my brain as if you were inside of it…!

Haha… maybe a bridge too far for some of you! 🙂 Start with your audio low; the sound begins after about 30 seconds of setup.

A note: There is a considerable amount of clicking you can hear when the gain is up, but I believe this is actually a low frequency beating, artifacts caused by the different channels interfering with each other. I can’t wait to test this on a multi-speaker system to find out how that works in real space, instead of cramming 8 layers into a stereo headset.

Stay tuned! I’m in the process of booking a venue for the first 8.1 3D sound performance of “I Am Sitting…” in early May.

9 Replies

  • Hello, i am a musician from Berlin. this maxpat you made sounds really interseting! Thank You! I also started working with the OpenBCI. Unfortunatly my MAX Patches sound way less nicer. I wonder if you would like to share your patch with me – of course not for commercial use! If you are interested i could send u a .js where ther osc values are filtered. It has one nice feature for playing live. It “jumps” to the next “clean” channel if one is disconnected or “unclean”. I m quite new in programming – still hard to express myself properly, espacally in english.

    • Thanks for your interest, Christopher! I would love to connect over this, look for an email from me. 🙂

  • Hi, I am an electronic music student in Italy, I wanted to test with your patch for my thesis on an epileptic brain, you could share it or I am also willing to pay for your patch on max, I wanted to use the muse headband.
    sorry if I write here but I haven’t found your private email
    Hello from Italy!

  • Hello, from Italy, your beautiful job, I have a sister on drugs who has constant seizures and I would like to create sound from her EEG for my electronic music studio, where can I write an email to explain what I ask for by paying naturally? !

  • sorry again, I can’t find an email to write to you and ask you how much your beautiful patch costs to use, I will pay this patch certainly this is for with my sister’s epileptic EEG/sound, please, I’m willing to pay money!
    Hello and thanks

  • Hi, I’m a musician from UK. I saw your work on youtube(Spatialized 8-channel brain music). Your Max patch is brilliant ! Would you mind share you patch for me?

    Hope you are all well and safe.

    Kind regards,


    • Hi J, I’m a little slow checking comments here, but please reach out (my email is in my cv on this site, or click one of the fb, insta, etc. links) if you are still curious. I am slowly trying to get my stuff up on github, but have been bogged down with a day-job for the last year. Thanks for the comment and the incentive!

  • Hello from Turkey,
    I really loved your patch! I just wanted to ask do I have a chance to work with it. Could you please share the patch with me? Or maybe some help? I am a composer and want to create a work with EEG machine. Thanks a lot.

    • Hi there! Thanks for the comments! I would be happy to talk with you or share, as I mentioned I’m hoping to put a bunch of stuff available on github, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. You can find my email in the cv posted on the about page of this site, or ping me on social media from one of the links here. Thank you! – Ali

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